April 17, 2009
As part of my research on the Global Carbon Cycle, which is the first part on my Technical Overview Chapter, I got swayed by reading an extremely interesting book, The Carbon Age. It starts from prehistoric times and the origin of Early Age, from the 'Big Bang' and when and how carbon as an element (C) came to existence. Beside the insightful findings about C and how it constitutes everything in this Universe, from our bodies to the geological formations of Earth. I found most interesting the talk about the origins of the Universe and the scientific evidence of the Big Bang Theory, which to me as a Muslim is very much true because of the evidence in the Quraan and the stories of how God created the Universe. It got me into analysing in different depths the meanings of many verses that we come across. A lot of Dr. Zaghlool Al-Najjar has a lot to do with conveying the message that science overlaps with the Quraan. But because I believe that the Quraan is a living miracle, I also know that there is knowledge so grand that is yet to be absorbed and understood by us, the Quraan reciters. It gets revealed to us and inspire our knowledge about the cosmic world. I have always paused at the page in Surat Al-Baqara that talks about the creation of Adam as the 'ambassador' of Earth. The details that verses get into and the beautiful dialogue between God and his Angels. It always gets me into thinking and reflecting about a different issue every time I recite it. This time it definitely repeatedly ignites questions about the timeframe of Earth and how things were created, one after the other, and when did Adam exactly come down to Earth. Are these scientific evidence that we now know about how different chemical elements came together and how the Universe in its entirety is nothing but a group of chemical reactions and chemical compounds that were created one after the other with time intervals regulated by the temperature on Earth and how all this lead to the existence of Energy which supplies 'life' on the planet. I feel that there is something deep and virgin in this area that is so well-worth exploiting. One day! :-)
April 16, 2009
Everyone and everything has an 'age'. There is a timeframe for the existence of almost everything, including ideas that expire in time, injuries that heal in time, feelings, relationships and of course us, human beings. Even Earth has an age, plants and animals do too. Everything in God's making seems to be following a universal law. It is because everything was made by the same Creator, it all falls under the same rule. Sometimes it is difficult to comprehend because of the human's 'bounded rationality', but it is quiet obvious that the entire world is in harmony. It has been said over and over, every single 'thing' or 'being' on Earth (and perhaps beyond) has the same 'stamp'. From the nucleus circular motions, to the planetary circular motion.. From the veins in the trees and the leaves to the veins in the animal's breeds.. the waves trends of economic boom and recession, rise and fall of civilisations, heart beats and blood pressure, respiratory system, and even the Fall and Spring throughout the year. The same 'stamp' is there.. SubhanAlah
But what is most interesting, is the age of all people on Earth. It is the measure of the 'knowledge' body generated on earth. The measure of the 'intellect' produced on Earth. It is rather 'accumulative' in nature. Just how 'age' accumulates. Also, the 'outcome' of humanity generated on Earth is accumulative. Hence, like we learn from ancient stories in the Quraan, we also 'build' on such knowledge in our own special way. The inventions made to day is being superseded and built on. We learn, we move on, we die, we pass on.. That is why 'reform' is important، الإصلاح في الأرض, because we must make every effort to make sure our foundations on Earth is correct in our own way, for the next generations. That is why we must 'implant' the seed we hold in our hands, even if at the most horrific and terrorising situation, The Hour. This reveals the meaning of our system of living. We build, implant and leave.. Until one day, this Earth would have exhausted its age and even 'it' will vanish.
Interpretation seems to be the root of all conflicts. The variant degrees to interpret religious texts is the main cause of societal conflict and divide. If we look at the history of Islamic thought, we may realise that this very 'variation' of Islamic interpretation is evident in the existence of the four school of thoughts, Hanbali, Hanafi, Shaf'i, and Malki. These, to me, are merely different 'efforts' by human beings like me and you who made personal conclusions on some Islamic issues. They all may very well be 'correct' in their own sense.
Perhaps it is the 'reasoning' that matter. Just like a research paper, your conclusion is right according to your epistemological and methodological methods that you are following. One must be able to defend one's position. Often times it is embedded in one's own background, religious, educational, societal and also time line in Earth. This may be why many things are best left flexible, this flexibility beautifies our religious system. Life is never meant to be black or white, there are gradients between the whites and blacks. In fact, the white colour must reflect all colours once entered into a transparent body. This transparency is what is vital to have, the transparent clear open mind. However, the limitations and guidelines are clear-cut, because these are meant to be the boundaries of one own's territory and freedom.
Therefore, 'generalisation' of one's thought process becomes problematic. Especially when one intrude into other's space, this disrupts their thought process and dilute their intrinsic clarity. I see Islam as a very 'holistic' way of life. It requires you to 'submit' to one basic belief that unify your believes and channel them into one 'right path'. The saviour tools are given to you, Quraan and Sunnah, together with your own brain and heart, you are left free to 'seek' your right path.